A VETERAN community champion has backed a people’s campaign to save a Victorian pub in South Tyneside from the bulldozers.
A 1,000-name petition has been collected in support of saving The Roadhouse in Victoria Road West, Hebburn.
But there are fears the pub, which dates back more than 100 years, will be flattened as part of South Tyneside Council’s ambitious £12m Hebburn hub regeneration scheme.
There was anger when the petition was presented at the latest meeting of Hebburn Community Area Forum, with manager Tracey Nesbitt calling for more time to question councillors over the pub’s future.
Cicely Horspool, who sits on the forum as a voluntary public sector representative, wants to see the pub saved.
Mrs Horspool, 74, who was born and grew up just yards from the pub, in the former John Street, said: “I couldn’t make the last forum, because of ill-health. But I think those presenting the petition should have been given more time to speak than just five minutes or so. I didn’t realise how popular the pub is and that lots of young people get in there, as well as the older ones.
“Tracey, the manager, wants to get the pub preserved as part of our local heritage, and I would like to see it revert back to what it was once called – The Argyle Hotel – and saved. While I agree it doesn’t look great from the outside, it’s fine inside.
“It’s a pub that has been part of the community for more than 100 years and I think we should look at ways of trying to preserve it, especially as it’s part of old Hebburn.”
The Roadhouse is on the market for £165,000 and the council has confirmed it is attempting to buy the pub as part of the Hebburn hub scheme, which includes providing a new swimming pool, library, a fitness suite and other community facilities. The pub is run by LT Pub Management on behalf of the defunct Anglo Irish Bank.